Former Iranian FM, nuclear chief proposes comprehensive political dialog between Iran, US

A former head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Agency and foreign minister, Ali-Akbar Salehi, has proposed that Iran and the United States hold a wide political dialog to resolve bilateral issues.

Salehi told Entekhab news outlet in an interview published on Saturday that Iran’s regional and military status were “relatively acceptable” and it would be a good time to conduct “a more expansive dialog” with the West and the US.

“Iran is currently a regional power, something friends and foes alike testify to… It is a good opportunity to sit and hold a more expansive dialog… with the West and America at its top. We may call it a political dialog,” Salehi, who was Iran’s foreign minister between 2010 and 2013, said.

He said Iran had talked directly to the US several times before but those instances were all around specific topics, such as Afghanistan, Iraq, prisoner exchanges, and the Iran nuclear deal, JCPOA.

“I think now may be the time to hold a comprehensive dialog,” he said, adding that “all relevant topics” could be discussed, regional security included.

Salehi said, however, that preparations had to be made for such a dialog, including the strengthening of national unity and cohesion.

“When everyone’s interests are considered, my sense is that the West and America at its top wouldn’t be disinterested either,” added Salehi, who was the head of the Atomic Energy Agency of Iran from 2009 to 2010 and 2013 to 2021.

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